This is my aunt Sherry. She's my mom's sister. She lives in Arizona and spends the summer at a cabin in Upstate New York.
She has always been a really cool aunt. When I was growing up, she lived in New York City. In fact, she may not even know this, but she was a bit of my inspiration for moving there out of college.
During the summer of 1984 I went by myself to visit her for about a week. It was a really cool trip. She sure knew how to show a junior higher a good time. She picked me up at the airport in a stretch limo. I distinctly remember people in Manhattan trying to get a peek into the car to see who we were. (Boy, they sure would have been disappointed had they found out.) We ate at the Hard Rock Cafe, saw 42nd Street on Broadway and I remember my first brush with *fame* happened as I spotted a soap star- Wallingford- from Search for Tomorrow. He was easy to spot since he was a dwarf.
My aunt is VERY funny. She has an infectious laugh. My mom and she were extremely tight. They were 18 months apart and battled rheumatic fever for years growing up. That meant they were quarantined to their room for literally much of their childhood.
They really loved each other. And they really laughed together. I remember some of the best Christmas' and summer vacations for this only child being when Aunt Sherry and my two cousins, Gennifer and Jay, would come to *Granny's house* and although they were quite a bit older than I, we would have so much fun laughing and playing together. Fond memories.
Aunt Sherry is also a bit of a trend setter. My cousin, Jay, is an Apache Indian and she and my uncle adopted him in the sixties before it was *cool and hip* to adopt. (You know, like me. I'm cool and hip, right? RIGHT??) I feel an extra connection to her because we share this unique bond of being adoptive mothers.
While my mom was in Hospice, Aunt Sherry and my uncle, Tom, were driving through Toledo on a previously scheduled visit. They extended their stay by several days so that she could have as much time with my mom as possible. While excruciatingly painful, they were sweet days that we'll never get back.
My aunt was a rock and a source of strength for me. And although neither she nor I intend for her to take the place of my mom, she serves as a precious piece of my mom (and of Bebe for my kids) that I see as a true gift from God.
My kids ADORE her. And even though there is not a picture of Sherry and Turner here (when asked to take a pic he answered, "No want to." Cute at 2, rude in the not too distant future!) they all think she (and especially her English bulldog, Snorts) are pretty cool. She got the kids piggy banks and all summer she has sent them cards with money inside. They have loved it.
I am thankful that my kids will grow up and get to know my aunt. I'm sad they won't get to know my mom. But hopefully between the two of us, they will.